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10 May 2014, 12:10
Northants Police have stepped up their efforts to cut down on mobile phone thefts.
Much of the focus will be on Northampton's Bridge Street night-life - where thefts of mobiles put the town in the top 3 in the country for places where you are most likely o have your phone stolen.
One of the new initiatives police are supporting is the introduction of a new ID system at NB’s on Bridge Street, which fingerprints people and checks their identification documents on the way in, as a condition of entry.
The system is called ‘SCANNET’, and links to pubs and clubs across the country. It has already proved effective, identifying a man who was wanted in London for an offence, and preventing his admission to the club.
Northampton-based PC Dale Hillyer said: "Phone thefts have already been reduced by around 30% in the town centre compared to last year. The Roadmender was the first to adopt the fingerprint ID systems and achieved an almost instant reduction in phone thefts inside the venue.
I’m delighted that this system has now been adopted by NB’s, a very busy venue.
Another successful initiative we have introduced is the distribution of mobile phone ‘Bungees’, a device that allows any mobile phone to be securely attached to a hand bag. This prevents the phone been easily removed and has successfully contributed to a reduction in crime".
Karim Ayoubi, Chair of Pubwatch, said: "Licensees in Northampton have a great record of working with police through Pubwatch, to make the town a safer place to be, and it’s working. The ID Scan system is the latest innovation in deterring crime in clubs, and it has bee proven to be successful – after being widely introduced in Liverpool, the police commented that violent offences literally ‘fell of a cliff’.
As one of the busiest venues in town, it appeared that NBs Bar was being targeted by gangs of phone thieves. ID Scan stops trouble makers in their tracks and the management should be congratulated for their proactive attitude - they have made their venue a safer place to be.
Pubwatch members are sending out a clear message: We are open for fun, trouble-makers aren’t welcome."
The manager of NBs, Matt Kitchker, said: "We are working closely with the police to reduce crime, and this new finger print identification system has been proven to reduce offences by up to 40% in the venues where it’s been introduced.
We have also upgraded our CCTV system, and this will give more opportunity to detect crime.